Biking Into the Turkish Mountains

Roberto enjoys a climb on   a paved road

Roberto enjoys a climb on a paved road

Wednesday 18th of April 2012

We have made it to Ankara! And our way was incredible. We felt heat, cold and wind, cycled on flat ways, hilly ways and mountains, enjoyed lonely camping nights, lively evenings with new friends, tears and laughter.

We leaveFethiye at noon. I expect to cycle minimum 50 km before sunset. It doesd not take long until I give up. We are in the middle of a huge mountain and I have been wheeling for the last hour. Cycling this uphill is too hard for me. I am covered in sweat and dust and decide not to move any higher anymore. We look out for a place to camp after only 30 kilometers.

Annika sits in the grass

Enough is enough. I need a break.

Turkish Mountains

By the following morning we manage to arrive on top of the mountain. I am very proud on myself until I see the sign that showes that we are 345 meters above the sea level. 345 meters only? We have managed far worse altitudes without wheeling before. My cycling muscles have definitely shrunk. We go downhill again, but my mood gets worse and worse. I keep complaining and annoying poor Roberto. But with the time I forget my anger and fall into a meditation mood. When we arrive to Köyceğis we both deserve a good break.

A waterfall

A waterfall nearby the road

We stay for two nights, get our bikes repaired again and calm down in Tarkan’s bike shop. When we leave Köyceğis we feel prepared for the road – and for hills higher than 345 meters. We start in a good speed and full of motivation. The first kilometers uphill cannot stop us. Then I get slower and slower. It was warm, the forests and rocks around us look beautiful but I cannot enjoy them. The bike seemes to be heavier with every meter. Truck drivers blow their horns to support us. Scared to death I nearly jump down the street every time. When I cannot move a bit anymore we arrive to a family’s house in the middle of nothing. I am hungry, sleepy, sweaty, grumpy and not too satisfied with my own stamina. Still the family is very friendly to us and Gökhan, the oldest son, showes us a place close to camp.

Görkhan, Hakan, Nuriye, Roberto, Sali and Annika

Görkhan, Hakan, Nuriye, Roberto, Sali and Annika

We make friends with the family and all my anger and bad mood is blown away soon. Nuriye, Gökhans mother, invites us to their place where she offers us selfmade Yufka (milk product) with scrumbled egg. She puts a carpet on the floor and puts the tray on top of it. There is no table and there are no chairs. We all sit on the floor drinking tea. The oven is hot. Nuriye opens the door from time to time to let some cool air in. The chicken cluck outside, the younger boy Hakan giggles. We are very happy that we have stopped here.

By the following morning we go on with new power. We keep going uphill but there is no need to wheel anymore. When we arrive to the main road again there is more space for us. We can even go side by side. It is getting colder soon. The landscape changes form green grass and trees to beige rocks and yellow grass. We are gaining meters. In the early afternoon we finally make it to the top: 1030 Meters above sea level. So this is a mountain. We are very proud of ourselves and manage to cycle 50 kilometers on this day but our average speed does not climb above 11 km/h

Roberto at the pass

We did not pick the easiest route after such a long cycling break

From now on we cope better with the hills. Maybe we have gained some stamina, maybe the up hills are less steep than in the beginning, but we get further and further with every day ad our average speed raises too.

Finally I can enjoy cycling again. The road is big enough but there is not too much traffic. It is not too cool and not to warm either, we enjoy delicious food from the region (honey, bread, olives, yoghurt, cheese, tomato and fruits) and get to know some nice people in the small villages around.

Camping in Sarıabat

Camping in Sarıabat

The last night before arriving Denizli we camp in a small but beautiful village called Sarıabat. We are lucky because we arrive for the weekly food market. We camp just on the side of the snow covered mountains and it is the first time for a while that we feel cold at night.

On the following morning we get on the bikes and cycle 30 kilometers straight downhill into Denizlil. What a great start in a day.

It is cold in Sarıabat

It is cold in Sarıabat

 

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  1. hello guys!!
    How is Ankara?

    I suggest you start writting do’s and dont’s for each place you visit, for other travellers shake!!

    Peace and love

    • I think it is a great idea! We will strongly consider your proposal and thank you for the feed back. Greetings from Anakara.

    • Tasting Travels Team Tasting Travels Team says:

      Hey Athina! Ankara is great! A bit hard for cycling (hills and a lot of traffic) but there is a lot to see. Thanks so much for your idea! We know that we can always count on you! Big hugs to you

  2. Barbara says:

    Reading your blog was very good and İ was able to imagine your journey with all the little problems and tiredness that you were feeling at the beginning but I see you are now getting ınto the joys and adventures of your travels. You and Roberto are very brave and strong. I admire you both very much and look forward to reading more of your blog. Take care of each other. İ wish you much happy travelling.xx

    • Thank You Barbara. The wishes you send us become true when we read support comments like yours. Indeed sometimes this life is not easy, but at the end it is all worth while. I wish you back a happy travel somewhere very soon. Anywhere will do, surprises are waiting for all of those who decide to open their door and explore our beautiful world. Even if it s just around town.

  3. Pingback: Friday, 20th of April 2012 | Tasting Travels

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